The Thai Cafe 1991
The Thai Country Cafe 1993
The Thai Gai Yang Cafe 1996
The Thai Pizza Co. 2004
Pat brings “Pad Thai” to St. Louis:
When Supatana “Pat” Prapaisilapa first opened the Thai Cafe in University City in 1991, his mission was to introduce the world of Thai cuisine to the people of St. Louis.
His first venture offered a nice, quiet, yet humble atmosphere for those to enjoy the tastes of Thai right in the heart of the Loop. Early in the 90’s, however, the Eastern portion of Delmar was bare and without all the shops or the classy Pin Up Bowl’s bowling alleys or the extravagant Pageant venue. Regardless, customers embraced the new spiciness that Pat had brought to the area.
Realizing all the college campuses around, Pat decided to open up a second, more casual restaurant that would cater to the atmosphere of college students. With TV’s to accommodate any sporting events that would be in danger of missing and brighter lighting, the Thai Country Cafe was like the lively, little brother to the Thai Cafe.
Three years later in 1996, after a trip to Thailand, an idea sparked. Supatana still believed that there was another aspect of Thailand that was needed to be shown. The Thai Gai Yang Cafe was inspired simply by the fast, efficient, outdoor eateries in Thailand intended for a quick meal. This one too, would specialize in their version of rotisserie chicken (hence the name Thai Gai Yang, “Gai Yang” means barbecued chicken in Thai).
What started off as one small cafe on the East side of Delmar suddenly turned into three, and then into four as he launched another restaurant in the Loop-the Thai Pizza Co.-that offered a fusion of pizza and Thai. The idea behind this was to create “thoughtfully prepared pizza” for a reasonable price. Seating was now available outside and for the first time ever, you could create your own dish by choosing your noodle, your meat, and your garnish through a style called “Stir Crazy”.
Riverfront Time’s 2003 Best Thai Restaurant in St. Louis: Thai Country Café Riverfront Time’s 2006 Best Vegetarian: Thai Gai Yang Café Concierge Preferred Business for the year 2004 and 2005: Thai Cafe St. Louis Magazine’s A-List for Thai: Thai Cafe